Automotive Traveler Magazine Selector: A One-Off Site

A One-Off Site: Automotive Traveler Magazine Selector
Automotive Traveler Magazine Selector

I had a lot of fun setting up a magazine-selector, one-off site for Automotive Traveler. After moving the issues of their on-line magazine to the BCT Publishing Viewer, they wanted a graphical method for users to be able to select between all issues of the magazine that took advantage of the striking layouts of their covers. They left me to my own devices to come up with a design and implementation, only requesting that it fit in with the color scheme of their main site at the time.

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The BCT Publishing “Viewer”

BCT Publishing Viewer Showing Automotive Traveler Volume 2 Issue 1
BCT Publishing Viewer

BCT Publishing commissioned the construction of a magazine-like user interface to display their online magazine and replace an expensive, commercial, Flash-based flipping page platform.

The design parameters required that the application:

  • run in any of the most popular browsers
  • display a landscape-oriented version of their magazine without the need for scrolling
  • render their professional magazine-style layouts, including fonts, faithfully
  • allow for easy, inexpensive conversion of PDFs to the format required for final viewing
  • allow for full-screen viewing, zoom, and dragging
  • offer a text-only, accessibility mode
  • be searchable and indexable by the popular search engines

The “Viewer” was born, and Automotive Traveler was BCT’s first title. Since then, BCT Publishing has made the Viewer available to anyone who would like to display content in a magazine-like format on the web. For more information, contact BCT Publishing.

Automotive Traveler: a Joomla! Site

Automotive Traveler
Automotive Traveler

Launched in 2007 by BCT Publishing, Automotive Traveler was designed from the outset to be a combination website/on-line magazine. As such, the clients wanted  both a dynamic web site and a custom solution to handle their on-line magazine.

In 2007, Joomla! was the clear choice for the site, and they went with a commercial Flash-based flipping page application for the magazine.

The site makes heavy use of a number of Joomla! extensions, as well as some site-specific extensions and plug-ins designed and built to order by TrackItWeb.

Classic Cougar Community phpBB Forum

Classic Cougar Community Forum on phpBB3
Classic Cougar Community Forum

The Classic Cougar Community started out with a Kunena forum, but this month made the transition from Kunena to phpBB3 for the greater functionality, more familiar interface. TrackItWeb set up the new database, did the phpBB3 installation and converted as much of the old Kunena content as possible.

The result is a more vibrant, feature-rich forum that was familiar to users due to the popularity of phpBB3 and it’s offspring, VBulletin.

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Dealer Locator

Dealer Locator
Dealer Locator

I have a client who wanted a dealer locator added to a Zen Cart site. They weren’t able to locate a Zen Cart extension that met their requirements, so they asked me to build one from scratch.

Their specifications for the dealer locator were as follows:

  • The dealer locator must blend in with their current Zen Cart template.
  • The dealer locator must display dealers within the United States as well as Canada.
  • Users must be able to find dealers either by zip code or city and state.
  • Users must be able to quickly map the location of the dealers.

This is one of those times when it’s good to have a programmer building your web site instead of a web designer without a programming background.

The client had quite a few dealers in the United States, though they currently only have one in Canada. It would have been impractical to build a static page listing all of them, so I went with a database-driven form using jQuery and AJAX to make the form function smoothly for users.

Users are able to select a range within which to search by zip code, or they can search for all dealers in a given city and state. The output includes a link to the Google Maps listing for the dealers’ addresses.

You can see the solution I came up with in action on Q-Logic Direct.